During Friday night’s loss to the Angels in Anaheim, Terry Collins put on a display of bullpen management that was horrid.
Sep 28, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on during the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
It started in the bottom of the eighth when Collins used three pitchers to record three outs. With Gonzalez Germen pitching, two outs, and a runner on first, Collins went to Scott Rice to face lefty Kole Calhoun. That move was pointless, since Germen is a crossover pitcher who has held lefties to a lower batting average (.213) than righties (.228) during his career.
After Rice allowed a hit to Calhoun, he was removed for Kyle Farnsworth, who pitched to two batters and escaped the inning.
Collins turned to Jeurys Familia to start the ninth and curiously left him in for a third inning, which wound up costing the Mets the game. Also odd was Collins asking Familia (who has control issues) to load the bases intentionally with a pair of walks. Right after that, the game ended on a hit by pitch.
Simply put, staying with Familia for a third inning – he had never before pitched more than two innings in relief – made absolutely no sense.
Collins was of course “saving” Valverde for the save opportunity that never came, something he pretty much always does in tie games on the road. This philosophy is flawed, but Collins refuses to budge.
Since Collins refused to go with his closer, his other option was John Lannan, who has been dreadful as a Met. Still, going with Lannan in the 11th inning would’ve been a better option over the exhausted Familia.
For all the skill Collins has as a motivator, his tactical moves leave a lot to be desired. The bullpen management display he put on last night is just a recent example of Collins’ tactical shortcomings.